YWCA St. Paul logo

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

November is National Native American Heritage Month. What started at the turn of the century as a single day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has evolved into a full month being designated to honor those contributions.

It is important to understand the long-standing history that has brought Americans together on this land and our responsibility within that history. Not only should we acknowledge that history, but we should also honor the earth beneath us and the Indigenous people who inhabited and cultivated this land. All of us must acknowledge that we are occupying Indigenous lands of Native American people who were systematically and often illegally displaced from their lands throughout this country through treaties and colonization.  This month offers an opportunity to encourage the sharing of untold and suppressed narratives, enhancing awareness of and appreciation for the histories and cultural heritage of those people.

Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of Native people. It also presents an opportunity to learn about the important contributions of Native people, the unique challenges faced by Native tribes and people (both historically and in present day), and introduces us to those who have worked to dissipate those challenges.

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, we are spotlighting educator, leader, artist, and social entrepreneur Brook LaFloe – an alum of the inaugural Young Women’s Initiative Cabinet of Minnesota that YWCA St. Paul hosts.

Photo of Brook LaFloeBrook grew up in St. Paul and is an educator and social entrepreneur with a passion for revitalizing culture and facilitating the growth of local Indigenous economies. She is the founder of Niniijaanis – One of Ones, a social enterprise for Indigenous children and families. This organization brings early childhood equity to American Indian children from birth to six years old, through culturally relevant learning materials and curriculum.

A member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota, Brook was born into the Eagle clan and descends from the Bear clan. Her academic background includes a B.S. in Neuroscience and Anthropology from Tulane University and M.Ed. from Loyola University of Maryland, and two Association Montessori International (AMI) diplomas in Assistants to infancy (birth-3 years) and Primary (3-6 years). Brook has five years of experience in educational material making and many years in beadwork and sewing. She enjoys fancy dancing at Powwows, being a sister and aunty, and engaging in anything sports related.

Read more about Brook and Niniijaanis One of Ones here and learn about this month of celebration at https://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/about/


Question: What do you know about Native American culture?

Read More from YWCA St. Paul

Young African American woman shouting through megaphones at protest

Calling young women between the ages of 15-24!

YWCA St. Paul is hosting a paid experiential learning opportunity for young women ages 15-24 to explore issues that are important to them that will lead to a community-based project. Participants will engage in virtual workshops, interactive training and community services activities to learn about identity-driven leadership, advocacy, local policy and community building.

Read More »
YWCA St. Paul COVID-19 Update

HFC Closure Update

Due to the Governor’s executive order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cases, YWCA St. Paul is temporarily closing our Health & Fitness Center. Your health and safety are our top priority. We thank you for your understanding and partnership as we again navigate this difficult situation together.

Read More »
Scroll to Top

YWCA St. Paul uses cookies to give you the best user experience. If you continue to use our services, we will assume that you agree to the use of such cookies.